Belles Fall to Student Princes
- Giavanna Paradiso led all players with 22 points while also pulling down eight rebounds.
- Erin Maloney tallied 13 points, six rebounds, five steals, and two assists.
- Maloney was named to the all-tournament team.
CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. - The Saint Mary's basketball team came up on the short side of a 69-53 final against Heidelberg at the Thomas More Julie Costello Memorial Classic on Sunday afternoon.
The Belles got on the scoreboard first with a layup by Giavanna Paradiso and a jump shot by Erin Maloney for a 4-0 lead through the first four minutes of action. Paradiso and Megan Saunders came up with response buckets for Saint Mary's as the Belles continued to hold an 8-5 lead with under two minutes remaining in the opening period. The Student Princes, however, closed out the quarter with six straight points to hold an 11-8 lead at the end of the first period.
Neither team was able to capitalize on their opening possessions of the second quarter as the score remained at 11-8 through the first minute-plus of play. Kelsey Trimble pulled down an offensive board and was fouled in the put-back effort to earn a pair of free throws. The senior hit the front end of her two free throws to make it 11-9. Less than a minute later, Erin Maloney collected a steal and earned a pair of free throws. The junior guard made both shots to draw the Belles even at 11-11 with 7:40 on the clock. Megan Will then gave Saint Mary's their first lead since the opening quarter with a three-pointer. The Student Princes tied the score with a three-pointer of their own before going ahead 15-14 with a free throw. Caroline Macius regained the lead with a pair of free throws on the Belles' next possession. Megan Saunders then tied the score at 18-18 on the next possession. A minute later, Will tied the game at 19-19 with a free throw before Erin Maloney capitalized on a Heidelberg turnover with a good jump shot for a 21-19 Saint Mary's lead with three minutes to play before halftime. The Belles could not get a bucket to fall over the final span of the quarter as the Student Princes used seven unanswered points to take a 26-21 lead at the break.
After Heidelberg put the first bucket of the third quarter on the scoreboard, Megan Will kept Saint Mary's right in the thick of things with a jump shot to make it 28-23 with 7:43 on the clock. Heidelberg put together an 8-0 scoring spurt to gain a 13-point lead at 36-23 with more than five minutes still remaining in the quarter. Maloney, Gabby Diamond, and Gabby Crown each put points up for the Belles as the score moved to 40-29 with 3:26 as the Belles were still well within striking distance. Maloney pulled Saint Mary's within 10 points at 40-30 just a short while later. The teams continued to trade points back and forth with Paradiso, Maloney, and Delaney Rohlman each contributing to the score, and the quarter concluded with the Student Princes holding a 49-38 lead.
Five quick points by Heidelberg to open the fourth quarter extended the Student Princes' lead to 16 points at 54-38. The Belles twice cut the deficit to 12 points at 59-47 and 61-49, but Saint Mary's was unable to put together the needed scoring run late in the 69-53 final.
After the conclusion of the tournament, it was announced that Erin Maloney was named to the all-tournament team for her efforts during the weekend.
Giavanna Paradiso led all players with 22 points while also pulling down eight rebounds. Erin Maloney tallied 13 points, six rebounds, five steals, and two assists. Megan Will added six points, and Gabby Diamond matched Paradiso with eight rebounds.
The Belles (1-4) have nearly a week to prepare for their MIAA opener. Saint Mary's hosts Albion at IU-South Bend's Student Activities Center on Saturday, December 2 at 6:00 p.m.